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QOS 05-08-2013 06:03 PM

Need help catching my horse in his pasture
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I have had Biscuit 2 and a half years. When I first got him he didn't trust me and it was a little difficult to catch him for about a month or so. Difficult meaning I hid a baling twine, offered a treat and once it was on his neck he stopped and was haltered.

Later when he would see me come down the ranch road with the trailer he would walk sometimes run to the other side of his 3 to 4 acre pasture but when I would walk across the pasture he was no trouble catching at all.

I have have been having a severe health issue and had back surgery 3 weeks ago. 3 weeks prior to my surgery I went out to catch Biscuit and he kept running circles around me, would come in licking his lips but would run off when I tried to catch him. This lasted for an hour and 10 minutes and I had to get one of the barn employees to help me catch him. Once he stopped "playing" he was a doll when the halter was on and a joy to ride that day. Next week, I went down there on the Gator and he came trotting up to me. The following week, for my last ride before surgery, I went down on the Gator and he was like "you got me with that trick LAST week sister" and he ran/lounged himself around me. My hubby came out and Biscuit ran over to him and Barry slipped his belt around his neck. Biscuit was good as gold.

So-I didn't go to the barn for 3 weeks because of spinal stenosis surgery. Both horses came running to see me Saturday when I finally was able to get out there. Went yesterday to see them and he was right up next to me friendly as can be. Today - farrier is there and I go out there and Biscuit has a huge area over his eye without hair. I was petting his face and went to reach up to look at it better and he jerked his head up and hauled his butt off. Could NOT catch him. Me, the barn manager and farrier all tried. I offered treats, feed, etc. He would come close enough for me to pet his face but when he saw the halter or lead rope he would take off.

Since I had this surgery and am in a back brace, I am in no position to do to much. My surgeon would probably have had a cow if he'd seen me out there.

Sorry for the novel but this is new behavior for this horse. He is sweet as pie, comes in licking his lips and if I gave up and headed for the gate he'd canter/trot up to follow me. But not let me catch him. ugh.

How can I change this dynamic? I don't have the "legs" to chase him. My balance is horrible right now due to this back issue. How do I stop this in its tracks and get back to the horse that I can catch anywhere, any time. A cookie and latte for those who read this novelette.Attachment 180657

QOS 05-08-2013 06:09 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 180665

This is what I was confronted with.:shock: I wanted to put SWAT on it but he is not being cooperative!

toto 05-08-2013 06:20 PM

Mischievous horsey :mrgreen:

Sounds like one of my old horses.. do you only ride when you catch him? I broke the habit with my old horse by catchin her and lettin her out to eat grass grooming and just puttin her back with out rides. my old mare learned that everytime i caught her she was gonna do work and just didnt wanna. I would do the same in this situation.

catch him and love on him- let him eat grass- give him treats- groom (what ever you do that dont involve riding) put him back.. this aint a one time fix youll have to do that a few times a week-- hes just one of the smart ones, lol.

it tickled me to read he trots/canters up to you when you head for the gait. :-P he wants attention so bad.. Just like my old mare!

Ouchies! What in the world did he do to his head? Tree branch or somethin?

Saddlebag 05-08-2013 06:30 PM

Why not go into the pasture and either sit if you can or stand with your back to him. Plan the next meal or read, anything to stop you from thinking about him. It's ok to sneak a quick peak but do try to remain turned away. This often draws a horse in. If he enjoys carrots or apple which have a fairly strong fragrance wave it behind your back. If he doesn't approach then you need to change your tactic. Set out a pile of hay and move well away from it. When he comes to check it out, shoo him away with just enough energy to move him off. Stand there about 15 seconds than again back away. The more you drive him away the more you are asserting your authority. Just today one of my horses decided to play smartie pants and started to leave. He knew I'd start driving him away so he partially turned to face me. I leaned a little and looked at his hock and he stepped over one more step so he was facing me straight on. I then beckoned him to come toward me which he did. His reward was getting his itchy spots rubbed. His biggest reward was my departing and leaving him alone.

QOS 05-08-2013 06:32 PM

I take him out of the pasture to groom him, do his feet (I do barefoot trimming on him myself but can't bend over right now!) give him a bath. So yeah...he gets out of the pasture plenty for that. I can't ride for at least another 2 months and that is IF I am lucky.

Biscuit is a total sweetheart. No buck/rear/kick/bite. Good as gold. I realize most of what he is doing is "playing" with me which makes it bad!

I don't think I would have had trouble catching him today at all had it not been for this giant bobo on his head. He really didn't want my hands anywhere NEAR it. I was hoping to just go down and get him everyday and walk him up to the barn to do a little bit of grazing or whatever til I am better and can ride!!!

Don't know what the heck he did to his forehead!!! Dang I almost had a heart attack til I realized it wasn't oozing!

QOS 05-08-2013 06:35 PM

LOL I tried clover today. Alfalfa which he LOVES. Feed in the bucket. He'd let me get close enough to pet his face but not anywhere near his side. He was smart enough to realize there is the rope coming up and OFF he would go. is tough having a smart one. As long as I am not trying to put a rope on him he is right there by me. I know today is because his head is hurt but the other times is him being a patootie

QOS 05-08-2013 06:44 PM

Biscuit is one smart cookie. If I go down to the pasture (he is in a row of pastures at a ranch) in my Rav I had NO trouble catching him to take him up to the barn for anything. The only time he would go to the other side of the pasture is IF I was hauling my Brenderup trailer! Hahahahahahahha he knew that meant going riding. He'd walk to the other side and stand there. No trailer-no problem.

He is a funny fellow but I wasn't laughing today!

ilovepie32 05-08-2013 08:13 PM

I may be wrong, but it sounds like you are "sneaking" to catch him. Let him see the halter and lead rope from the time you walk in his pen until the time it is put on him, no matter how long it takes to catch him. Use treats, a bucket, or whatever you can to lure him in, and just rub on him. Walk away and repeat. Then put the halter on him and rub him down and let him go. It sounds like you've got plenty of time for that :)

Good luck with your pretty boy and your back recovery!
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QOS 05-08-2013 09:36 PM

Until today I never tried to hide it from him other than when I first got him. We just got back from the barn and he let my hubby pet him and then when he brought up the lead rope to try to slip around his neck he ran off. Barry tried several times and then said "I'd shoot him". LOL not happening. Tried the alfalfa - no go. I may get up early in the morning and go out and feed him myself. He is at a full care facility. Edgar can perhaps help me get a halter on him.

He must have a whopper of a headache because I have never had trouble catching him if I didn't have my trailer with me. :-( His bobo is now black looking but hubby said it is still NOT oozing so I guess he basically just knocked the hide off of himself.

QOS 05-09-2013 01:36 AM

well I be doggone. Just before we left the pasture, a barn buddy, Lisa, drove up. Her horse is in the next pasture and my horses hang at that side when she is there. She is a sweet person and loves on my horses like they are hers.

She said if Biscuit came over to her side she would try to put Furazone on his head. I said if you can great! I went home .

I later get a call from her and she was able to get Biscuit to let her put meds on his head. She was giving him molasses! I think she is a horse whisperer. I was very grateful for her help but just surprised that while he would let me pet him he wouldn't let me catch him.

I plan on going to the barn early before feeding time and feeding him myself in the morning. As I said, catching him has never been a problem til recently. Any other suggestions?

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